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To Stress Or Not To Stress
by Serge Kahili King

Here are the basic assumptions I work with in dealing with stress:

A. All physical, emotional, mental or spiritual problems are due to stress, which I define as a bodily tension reaction to a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual stressor. I also define "spiritual" as energetic, not religious.

B. A stressor is some physical, emotional, mental or spiritual event or condition that we react to by resisting it, resulting in tension. i.e. stress, somewhere in our body. Note that the stressor does not cause the stress, the reaction to it does that. Not everyone has the same reaction to a particular stressor.

C. Regardless of the nature of the stressor (physical, emotional, etc.), we can react to it with physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual resistance, all of which cause tension, which itself is the direct cause of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual problems when the stress is prolonged.

D. As we grow older we tend to accumulate tension from all sources. The more stress/tension we already have, the the more quickly we have a reaction problem to additional stress. An effective solution is one that uses physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual means to relax or relieve the tension.

Possible stressors and solutions:

Physical.
1. The number one stressor for all people is gravity. It takes quite a bit of resistance just to stand up and walk. Perhaps that's why the need for rest and sleep is built in. It's also why exercise of some kind is so important for health and well being. We have to keep our muscles toned up enough to keep resisting gravity for as long as we can. The less you move, the weaker you get, and the more weight you carry the stronger your muscles have to be.

The number two stressor for most people, in my opinion, is dehydration, and the number one cause is not drinking enough water. Even one glass of water can often relieve many aches and pains. Dehydration also reduces salt in the body, which can result in pain and numbness. A pinch of salt taken with a class of water can often relieve such pain and numbness. Dehydration can be caused by certain medicines as well, particularly those whose side effects cause dry mouth and constipation. Caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration, too, in amounts that vary with individuals. There are two simple tests that indicate dehydration. The first is to gently pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If it doesn't immediately go back to normal you are dehydrated. The second is to check your urine. If it smells or is definitely yellow, you are dehydrated.

2. The number three physical stressor is lack of oxygen. The more shallow we breathe the more tension we build up and the more difficult it is for oxygen to reach the cells of our body. The most simple solution is to breathe more deeply more often. Pikopiko (if you remember that) would be very helpful. Another simple solution is to purposely relax more often. Tension from any stressor tends to result in more shallow breathing, and it's easy not to notice it until more serious physical problems occur.

Emotional
1. The number one cause of emotional stress is anger, which comes from resisting what someone else is doing or has done. The number one solution is forgiveness, which, admittedly, is not always easy, but which is always effective in relieving the tension caused by anger. Dynamind is extremely effective when you use a statement like "When I think of... I feel...(in a location in your body) and that can change. I want that feeling to go away... etc." Changing your mind to lesson the importance of an unpleasant event or someone's behavior can make a lot of anger disappear. Variations of anger include sadness, regret, and grief.

2. The number two cause of emotional stress is fear, which comes from expecting pain or loss and the tension that results from resisting that. Knowledge, skill and Dynamind can all be very helpful.

Mental
1. Mentally-induced stress comes from the rules we make up about our behavior, the behavior of other people, and the conditions and events of life in general, plus our reaction to the breaking or non-conformity to those rules. To reduce the tension effects of our rules, we need to change or modify them to increase tolerance. Two very effective "magical" words to apply are "So what?"

Spiritual
1. Here I am talking about the energy field that fills us, surrounds us, and connects us to to the world. The more we withdraw from the world, for whatever reason, the more tension builds up in our body. The solution is to practice extending that field into your environment using imagination and will, or, even better, imagine it going out to help others in need, like victims of disasters and also their rescuers and helpers.

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